I spent about 10 years working in a chemical plant in Maryland back in the early 1980’s. This chemical plan had Cobalt-60 (Radioactive), Explosive Acids, Dangerous Caustics (mix them wrong and they go boom) and Neurotoxins that were very deadly if ingested. I was friends with lots of guys there and we were always getting into trouble or doing something ridiculous.
Picture these different situations:
- Every Friday afternoon we would drive down to the end of the street and sit around the parking lot of the local gas station and drink beer. Can you see this – 4 or 5 guys sitting on tree stumps that served as our bar stools next to the road. Drinking, laughing, joking and teasing each other after a hard week at work.
- We had lunch in a small break room. 4 or 5 of the same guys playing quarter poker. The pot got pretty big some days and the tempers flared as we struggled to get our cash back. Many a game someone would get pretty ticked off. We played cards for years until one day the pot was well over $100 and the arguing got so loud and nearly violent that it all came to a head. The president of the company stormed into the room, yelled at us all to stand up and back away from the table. He wiped all of the cards and coins into his hat and said, “This is it folks. No more gambling on my property and as for this money – it’s going to a charity.” That ended poker for us at the plant.
- How about the biggest Crab Feast ever – Close to 15 bushels of fine Chesapeake Bay Crabs, numerous kegs of beer and about 100 of my best friends partying hard celebrating my retirement from the Chemical Plant – wow that was a party and it was on the property next to the Cobalt 60 processing center
- How about the best company Christmas Party ever – lots of food and beer in the plant. We ate, danced and drank more than I can ever remember at any company Christmas Party. Everyone was smashed and I was no different. 50′ from the control room of the chemical plant. Security – there was no security
- Here is another unique situation. One of the truck drivers who delivered a tanker of the Explosive acid was sitting on the grass next to the truck as I unloaded it. In his lap were 4 or 5 short pieces of pipe that he was packing with explosives. He was making fireworks for his family 4th of July event that weekend. No big deal. Gun powder, explosive acids and a whacked out truck driver.
Here is the story that I am leading you toward – Chocolate Cheese.
One of my good friends at the plant, Carl Hockersmith was always doing something to tick me off. He loved to hide my car, my car keys, clip board or page me to the office. Every day it was something from him. I am not sure what it was this time, but I had it and it was time for me to get him back.
That night at the house my wife was molding sweet chocolate into these cute little square, triangle and round molds for one of the girls to take to school the next morning. That same night I saw a commercial for Exlax, a flavored laxative that was fairly new on the market. It came in chocolate flavor. ?!?!?!
I drove up to the local grocery store and bought some ExLax. I melted the Exlax into the chocolate molds and put them in a small plastic bowl for my buddy Carl.
I knew that I had to come up with some wild reason for bringing it to work. My wit back then was pretty sharp. I quickly came up with the following:
“Carl – you won’t believe this Chocolate Cheese that Becky found. It’s pretty cool. You should try it.” Now Carl knew my wife and anything that she cooked up he knew must be good. He grabbed a piece and as he chomped on it said, “This is pretty cool Burriss, give me another piece.” Which I happily did, repeatedly until most of it was gone.
As I walked away I noticed Carl wipe a little chocolate off his face and lick it. Man that was a great visual – he was devouring Chocolate Cheese and loving it.
Later that day I came looking for Carl and he was nowhere to be found. I asked some of the other guys if they knew where he went.
“Yeah, he has been in the crapper all morning. Said he has the runs really bad. He is not sure what happened,” said one of the guys.
Carl went home that morning and took the rest of the day off.
It is possible that I told one of the other guys what I done. I was pretty pumped up about the joke that I just pulled off.
But – the story does not end here. What I failed to take into consideration is that Carl is twice as big as me and when he gets mad – he is uncontrollable. I failed to take into consideration the recourse that was heading my way.
Fortunately Carl took off on a Friday to recuperate from his massive diarrhea and I had the benefit of the weekend for him to calm down, some. But on Monday he came looking for me and did his best to run me down with his car and a fork lift. He worked hard to catch me that morning and eventually he pinned me in a corner and started wailing on me pretty hard. Suddenly he just busted out laughing.
He realized that I had out done him in every way. All of his little pranks had been outdone by Chocolate Cheese.
I won that battle by admiration. However we continued our pranks, we just backed it down a notch and did not try to kill each other anymore.
Flash forward 30 years.
I had moved to NC and Carl was still in MD. We arranged to get together for dinner during one of my trips to MD. As I walked up to him at the restaurant he grabbed me around the neck and snorted at me, “Do you want some Chocolate Cheese Burriss?” We laughed together.
Great pranks last forever.
This has been another story shared by Teddy Burriss. I hope you enjoyed it.